Environmental and Chemical Aging of Fatty-Acid-Based Vinyl Ester Composites

Report No. ARL-TR-5523
Authors: Steven E. Boyd; John J. La Scala
Date/Pages: April 2011; 32 pages
Abstract: As part of an ongoing validation effort to replace conventional monolithic materials with composite material structures for proposed U.S. Department of Defense applications, environmental and chemical aging was conducted on selected glass-reinforced vinyl ester matrix composites. The composites consisted of two matrices: commercially available vinyl ester resins with styrene contents >40 weight-percent and more environmentally friendly, sustainable vinyl ester resins with methacrylated fatty acids to replace a significant percentage of the hazardous air pollutant (HAP) styrene. Fatty-acid vinyl ester (FAVE) bioresins have a lower weight-percent of styrene (<25 weight-percent) and produce less HAP emissions during processing. They are being investigated to replace higher styrene content vinyl ester resins. This effort's objective was to evaluate the impact of environmental and chemical aging on the mechanical response/properties of glass-reinforced composites with commercially available vinyl ester resins and FAVE bioresins and compare them directly. Although lowering styrene content can cause overall mechanical and thermal properties to decrease slightly, mechanical performance after aging of FAVE biocomposites demonstrated that they are just as resistant to certain environmental and chemical aging as commercially available, higher styrene content vinyl ester resin composites. This study identified no impediment to replacing higher styrene content resins with FAVE bioresins.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2011